Oxygen Insider Exclusive!

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, breaking news, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up for Free to View
Crime News Cold Justice

Cold Justice Contributes to Arrest in Violent Murder of Mother and Daughter

Cold Justice investigators teamed up with the Abilene Police Department on the cold case.

By Cydney Contreras

One family is finding closure after more than 40 years of mystery.

How to Watch

Watch Cold Justice on Oxygen Saturdays at 8/7c and next day on Peacock. Catch up on the Oxygen App.

In the second episode of Cold Justice Season 7, Kelly Siegler teams up with the Abilene Police Department to help find new leads in the murder of Susanna Flores Brown, 30, and her daughter, Francesca Antionette Martinez, 8.

The mother and daughter were found strangled to death in brutal fashion at their Abilene, Texas, home in March 1982. In the years following, investigators worked diligently to solve the double murder, to no avail. 

But then, in October 2023, multiple local news outlets reported that the Abilene Police Department was closing in on a suspect: Susanna's common law partner, Billye Brown. The 65-year-old was taken into custody and charged with two counts of murder on November 2, 2023, according to WPDE. He denies killing Susanna and her 8-year-old daughter.

Don't miss the latest true crime news:
Elementary Principal Picks Up Tips From ‘CSI’ Exhibit Before Killing Husband in Complex Murder Plot
Parents of Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie "Reluctantly" Reach Settlement in Emotional Distress Lawsuit
The Shocking Real-Life Story Behind Denise Huskins' Brazen Kidnapping

To learn more about the case, featured in an upcoming episode of Cold Justice, keep reading...

The Crime Scene

In the early morning hours of March 9, 1982, officers responded to a report of a double homicide at the Brown family residence, per court documents cited by WPDE. The mother and daughter — who was not biologically related to Billye — were found deceased in their respective bedrooms, having both been strangled with electrical cords. 

Billye, who had been in a relationship with Susanna for about three years, told authorities that he discovered the bodies when he came home from work around 3:30 a.m. He claimed that the lights were off when he arrived and the back door was left ajar.

Officers at the scene noted that there did not appear to be a struggle inside the house, nor were there "signs of forced entry in either the door or windows of the house." 

Cold Justice 7 key art

DNA Advances Case

The case seemingly went cold in the months after the remains were first discovered. However, investigators reviewed the evidence in 2012 and approached Billye about an interview in the hopes of uncovering new evidence. When contacted by investigators, Billye "appeared very surprised by the phone call, stating that he believed the case had been closed for the last 30 years," according to the documents. 

But Cold Justice teamed up with Abilene police to confront Billye again in October 2023 after recent DNA testing found a match with Billye’s DNA in Susanna’s body. Billye was arrested on two counts of murder in early November 2023. The 65-year-old has since been released on $200,000 bond.

To find out more about the revelations that led to the Texas man's arrest, tune in to Cold Justice every Saturday at 8/7c.